The Vancouver Art Gallery has received its largest photography donation to date by the acclaimed American photographer Harry Callahan.
The gift of 556 photographs, donated by the Montreal-based Larry and Cookie Rossy Family Foundation, is the most important collection of Callahan’s work in Canada and the second largest public collection in the world.
Callahan is a canonical figure in the development of modern photography and is considered one of the most influential photographers of the 20th century. The collection features work that spans the artist’s sixty-year career.
"This collection is an unparalleled representation of the work of a pioneering photographer of the 20th century, noted and acclaimed for his engagement with a range of photographic techniques. It is an outstanding addition to the Vancouver Art Gallery’s photography collection, which has grown substantially over the past decade and is now of international importance," said Gallery director Kathleen S. Bartels in a media release.
"We are extremely grateful to The Larry and Cookie Rossy Family Foundation for its generosity, which will enable our audiences to experience the oeuvre of one of the ground-breaking photographers of the last century.”
The Gallery plans to present these works as part of a major exhibition on Callahan in 2016, marking the 40th anniversary of his 1976 retrospective at the Museum of Modern Art in New York. The exhibition will explore the role of Callahan's work in the development of modern photography and its links to contemporary practices.